The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on March 2, 1993 · Page 29
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 29

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Tuesday, March 2, 1993
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F Tuesday, March 2, 1993 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER SportSD-5 r Bowden insures arms if not wins Newfound maturity aids Kite Mr. Consistency playing best golf of his career The Associated Press LOS ANGELES He's never mentioned in the same breath with Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer, or even Tom Watson. Even now, he usually gets second, billing behind Fred Couples. . Last year, for it XZ , A BY TIM SULLIVAN The Cincinnati Enquirer PLANT CITY, Fla. Because no baseball document is more dangerous than a pitcher's long-term contract, Jim Bowden's policy is insurance. The Cincinnati Reds general manager sent two of his more valuable arms to Fort Myers, Fla. Sunday to obtain the medical clearance necessary to cover their contracts through a subsidiary of Lloyd's of London. Jose Rijo and John Smiley were examined by Dr. Arthur Pappas, medical director for the Boston Red Sox, at the American League team's training complex. "They must want me to sign pretty bad," said Rijo, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. Bowden said Rijo's examination reflected no change at the bargaining table, but was made in case progress should be made in the negotiations. Smiley signed a four-year contract with the Reds on Nov. 30. "If we were to sign Rijo to a multi-year contract in June, we wanted to get this out of the way now," Bowden said. "In today's Reds notebook er seen a more glowing report than the last two reports from Dr. Andrews." MITCHELL EXPECTED: Twice delayed by funeral arrangements for a friend's mother, Kevin Mitchell is expected to finally surface for today's Reds workout. The slugger obtained from Seattle is under no official obligation to show up for spring training until Wednesday, although every other Reds player has been in camp for at least six days. "I'd like to see him tomorrow," manager Tony Perez said Monday, "but not because he needs the work. If he was a pitcher, I'd be worried about him, but I don't anticipate any problems. When I talked to him during the winter, he was excited about being here." Perez said he did not think Mitchell's stormy past, which has included several scrapes with the law, necessarily portends trouble. "You don't worry about people's track record," Perez said. "If you worry about it, you never get the guy." Perez is not easily provoked. with a record 35-under par, finishing with a 62 for a 7-shot victory. Earlier, in the Tournament of Champions, he closed with a 64 at La Costa to finish one shot behind winner Davis Love III. Trailing by four strokes with seven holes left Sunday at Riviera Country Club, Kite birdied five holes down the stretch to win the Los Angeles Open going away. After shooting an opening 73 that left him back in the pack, Kite rallied with a 66 on Saturday, including a 30 on his last nine holes, and a 67 on Sunday, with a 31 on the back nine. The $180,000 winner's check raised his career earnings to more than $8 million. Watson is second with just over $6 million. "Tom (Kite) is playing absolutely great," said Couples, who finished tied for second with three others, three shots behind Kite in the LA Open. "When you're on a roll like he is, you just keep winning." Said Payne Stewart, also second: "Tom Kite could be playing the best golf of his life." Consistency has been a hallmark for Kite since he joined the tour in the early 1970s, and now he seems to have raised that consistency to a new level. "It's a total maturing of everything the physical part, the mental part, the maturing of Tom Kite," he said. "I've always thought of myself as a good putter, and my swing is getting really good." Recalling a stretch during the LA Open when he missed four putts within eight feet, he said he didn't get down on himself. "Years ago, I might have gotten impatient," he said. "Instead, I got determined. Instead of going off the deep end, I'm doing better than I've ever done in my life being patient. I'm easier on myself, nicer to myself. And most important, I'm being more forgiving. "I don't how long it will last, but . . . it's neat." the first time in 18 years, he wasn't even invited to The - Masters. Still, Tom ', Kite quietly has , established himself as one of the best to play the game. ,. And the soft- Tom Kite Spoken, bespectacled Texan definitely isn't through yet. J Already the PGA Tour's all-time money-winner and a champion 19 times, the 43-year-old Kite is playing perhaps the finest golf of his career. "Right now, I feel so good about myself, my game, that I might as : well just sit back and enjoy it, ; watch it like a spectator," Kite said. ; . It has been entertaining to ' watch. . ' "After winning twice in 1992, including the U.S. Open for his first major title, Kite has been on a tear this year. In the four tourna- ments he's played, he's won twice and finished second once. ' Two weeks ago in the.90-hole ; Bob Hope Desert Classic, he won mm'" vmmmm "a ,-ftr- Steinbrenner's back on Broadway Yankees' owner elects for low-key arrival After 10 days of his first spring training as a manager, he reported has yet to raise his voice in anger. RECORD SALES: Four days before the start of the exhibition season, the Reds announced a record 960 season tickets had been sold for their 15-game home schedule at Plant City Stadium. This total exceeds the previous high of 896 sold in 1991, when the Reds were defending world champions. BIP OUT: Second baseman Bip Roberts, who was hampered by a recurring right ankle injury late last season, was held out of much of Monday's workout. BAD RUMORS: Bowden said a report the Reds were discussing a deal with the New York Yankees about pitcher Tim Belcher was groundless. "Two general managers asked me about that today," he said. "I've never talked to the Yankees about Tim Belcher." NOW THAT'S A TRADE: Asked if he could put together a trade to brighten a slow news day, Reds special assistant Gene Bennett proposed a blockbuster: "How about Ted Williams for Stan Mu-sial?" advised reporters to be in place, Steinbrenner took 61 minutes to inch the 100 yards from the entrance gate to the playing field. "I knew there would be a lot of attention," Steinbrenner said. "It makes me feel good. I'd rather get shoved around a little bit than not have anyone here." He also vowed: "I'm going to be different. You'll see." Outfitted in a white-collared shirt, a blue V-neck sweater with GMS inscribed on the left breast and tan slacks not the denim jacket, hat and speckled beard he had considered wearing as a Clint Eastwood-like disguise Steinbrenner was obviously thrilled to be back. Originally, he said, he had planned to leap atop the dugout and announce his return after the Bush and Monroe look-alikes had confused reporters, diverted attention and exited the playing field. But after reconsidering, he said he canceled those plans on Monday morning and painfully removed the professionally applied bogus beard that had already been applied. Then he was flown in his private jet from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale, where he and walked one-quarter mile from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to the stadium. Although he fielded hundreds of questions, most of his responses were vague. Steinbrenner called manager Buck Showalter "a star on the rise" who has "no worries." He offered ambivalent remarks about General Manager Gene Michael. He reiterated that the Yan: kees could contend in the American League East. He hinted strongly that former Yankees Willie Randolph and Reggie Jackson could be hired for executive positions shortly and said Jackson would not be replacing Michael. He expressed interest in signing Jack Clark, an ex-Yankee who was released by the Red Sox last week, and he said Wade Boggs could wear a beard and "hit in his underwear," as long as he keeps his average above .300. t s I Lemieux hopes to return tonight against Flyers BY JACK CURRY New York Times FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. After devising elaborate plans to distract the news media on Monday with a helicopter carrying a Marilyn Monroe look-alike and a limousine transporting a George Bush look-alike while he himself sat in disguise in the stands, George Steinbrenner changed his mind, scrapped his publicity stunt and simply strolled into the parking lot of Fort Lauderdale Stadium to trumpet his official return to baseball. Actually, the New York Yankee owner made it to within 30 feet of the stadium entrance near first base before being besieged by photographers, reporters and television crews that stopped him and forced him to answer questions for an hour while two Fort Lauderdale police officers stood on either side. "When I saw the news this morning, I realized this was no time for George Steinbrenner to be funny," he said, referring to the deaths in New York from Friday's bombing at the World Trade Center and the deaths in Waco, Texas, from Sunday's shootout between federal agents and members of a religious cult. "I felt sorry fpr the people," he said. "There'll be another day when we can do it. My return wasn't that big a deal. It shouldn't be." But it was treated that way. Steinbrenner was hailed like a conquering war hero, not a man who was suspended from baseball in August of 1990 for paying $40,000 to a self-confessed gambler, Howard Spira, for damaging information on Dave Winfield, who was with the Yankees at the time. Although Steinbrenner tried three times on Monday to weave past the crush of about 250 members of the media engulfing him and meander onto the field, another question or another autograph-seeker always managed to stop him. After arriving at 10:32 a.m., two minutes after the Yankees Jose Rijo John Smiley day and age, I would not do it unless we had insurance coverage on the pitchers." Rijo's medical history would place an even higher premium on insurance protection. The 27-year-old right-hander has been on the disabled list in each of the last five seasons and has totaled nearly six months on the DL during that time. Three times he has been sidelined by elbow or shoulder ailments. Rijo has thrown thus far this spring without complaint, and is scheduled to start Friday's exhibition opener against the Minnesota Twins. "He saw Dr. Games) Andrews twice this off-season at our request," Bowden said. "It was just a precautionary-type thing. I've nev- The Associated Press Notebook rell, attempting to rebound from shoulder problems, pitched 15 minutes off a mound and appeared to be making good progress. The right-hander put in his third successful throwing stint since spring training opened, giving club officials more hope he can shake off the shoulder tendinitis that sidelined him in January. "For what he's doing, he's progressing very well." pitching coach Ron Perranoski said. "He says it doesn't feel any worse. I take that as progress because he aired some pitches out today." Boddicker to have surgery HAINES CITY, Fla. Kansas City Royals right-hander Mike Boddicker will undergo arthroscopic surgery this week to repair a torn cartilage in his left knee. Team physician Steve Joyce confirmed that Boddicker had a minor tear in the meniscus cartilage in his left knee and will be operated on Wednesday. He's expected back in two weeks. Gonzalez, Lee still absent Texas Rangers outfielder Juan Gonzalez's arrival in Florida has been delayed again. Gonzalez, the major-league leader in home runs last year with 43, was scheduled to fly into Miami and report to training camp. He and shortstop Manuel Lee are delayed by visa problems. Sheffield gets pardon The San Diego Padres will excuse third baseman Gary Sheffield from Thursday's workout and, if necessary, Friday's exhibition opener, so he can attend ESPN's ESPY awards show Thursday night in New York. Sheffield is nominated for breakthrough athlete of the year. He's up against the Pittsburgh Steelers' Barry Foster, golfer Fred Couples and tennis player Jim Courier. X Ji 1 t r ' I Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. hangs out with his dad, Mariners coach Ken, during a break in action at Peoria, Ariz. Monday. Lofton looks twice at Rookie vote gap Lemieux, 27, apparently has had few of the normal side effects of radiation fatigue, nausea and loss of appetite. He resumed skating only a week after starting his therapy and has practiced as many as four times a week. Lemieux hinted he wanted to play again as early as Feb. 13, only to be persuaded by general manager Craig Patrick to wait until his treatments were over. Canadiens 5, Bruins 2, at Boston Gilbert Dionne scored a pair of goals and Patrick Roy stopped 42 shots as the Canadiens avenged their only loss since late January. The Bruins outshot Montreal, 44-17, but Roy was magnificent, stopping 19 shots in the second period and making three excellent saves on Vladimir Ruzicka. It was Roy's 28th victory of the season. Canucks 5, Sabres 2, at Hamilton, Ontario Vancouver right wing Pavel Bure scored his 50th and 51st goals. Trevor Linden, Dixon Ward and Cliff Ronning added goals in their team's third consecutive victory. The Canucks, leaders in the Smythe Division, completed a sweep of three games with Buffalo this season and improved to 8-1-1 against Adams Division teams. beam." McEwlee, a sophomore, quali fied for state on bars and Blasberg, a senior, qualified in all-around. Going into the final event at Saturday's district meet, the Avia tors trailed Lakota by two points It was McEwlee's outstanding 8.15 score that proved to be the differ ence. "We didn't know until the final score was announced that we had qualified for the state," Kelsch said. "I was there as an individual last year, but it will be a lot better going as a team. Also contributing to the success of the Aviators this year were Linda Gerson, Erica Ellsbery, Ra-chael Hoffman, Courtenay James, Emily Dewey, Vicki Taylor and Heather Braid. In order to build a desire in the Aviators, Schwegman took the entire team to the state meet last season to experience the excitement and atmosphere. This year, thanks to hard work and dedication, the Sycamore girls will be on the floor performing Friday and Saturday rather than watching from the grandstand. The Associated Press . 'PITTSBURGH Mario Lemieux will play tonight in Philadelphia if there are no complications ; earlier in the day from his final radiation treatment for Hodgkin's disease, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced Monday. Lemieux will undergo the last of two low-dose radiation procedures at a Pittsburgh hospital, then fly to Philadelphia hours before the game. He completed four weeks of full-dose therapy last Friday. The NHL scoring leader until as late as a week ago, Lemieux hasn't played since Jan. 2, six days before learning he had cancer in one lymph node. Lemieux missed two games with a chronic back problem before the Hodgkin's disease was diagnosed. . The return of the acknowledged premier player in hockey and the sport's highest-paid player couldn't come at a better time for the Penguins, who are 2-5-1 in their last eight games. In a three-day span last week, the two-time Stanley Cup champions were 0-1-1 in two emotionless games against the league's two expansion teams, Ottawa and Tampa Bay. "You don't want to put too much pressure on him when he returns," Penguins coach Scotty Bowman said. "He hasn't played in two months. But it will definitely pick up our team." Sycamore CONTINUED FROM PAGE D-l coached 10 years at Colerain High School, ending when the school dropped the program in 1982. Schwegler inherited a Sycamore program that had 14 girls involved last season, most of whom had competed and trained at Queen City. "If a girl isn't at the elite level by 10 or 11 years old, she's not going anywhere," Schwegler said. "None of our girls are at that level. They're in it for the social aspect." Kelsch agrees. "Most of the girls on the team had the same experience as I had and wanted a more relaxing atmosphere," Kelsch said. "Practices are serious, and there's no goofing around, but it's fun again." In this more relaxed environment, Kelsch has thrived despite sore ankles and a ruptured disc in her back. She qualified as an individual in the floor exercises, one of her strengths. , "I've broken my ankles three times and just recently suffered the back injury," Kelsch said. "I can't perform on the bars, and until three weeks ago, I stayed off the The Associated Press . WINTER HAVEN, Fla. Finishing second in Rookie of the Year balloting didn't bother Kenny Lofton all that much. Finishing a distant second did. "You know, Pat had a great year," Lofton said of Milwaukee's Pat Listach, the rookie winner. "It wasn't like I was upset that he won it, because it was going to be between him and myself. I was more upset with the points differential." Listach, a shortstop, received 20 of 28 first-place votes and 122 points in voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Lofton, Cleveland's center fielder, received seven first-place votes and 85 points. "If it had been real close, a seesaw battle, that would have been different. With his getting all those points, it seemed like he just basically outplayed me, and I don't think that happened," Lofton said Listach hit .290 with one home run and 47 RBIs, stole a club-record 54 bases and had 168 hits. Lofton hit .285 with five home runs and 42 RBIs, and his 66 steals. Trammell starts in center LAKELAND, Fla. The Detroit Tigers open their exhibition season Friday, and Alan Trammell will be in the starting lineup. That in itself isn't much of a surprise. Trammell has started the Tigers' regular season opener each year since 1981, and all but one year (1980) since 1978. It's the center field position Trammell will be starting at Friday against the Chicago White Sox at Marchant Stadium that's different. Trammell is a four-time Gold Glove shortstop. All 14 of his opening day starts for the Tigers have been at that position. Worrell rebounding VERO BEACH, Fla. Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Todd Wor- New ownership has made Mays a Giant for life The Associated Press SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Hall of Famer Willie Mays disclosed Monday that he is now under a lifetime contract with the San Francisco Giants' new ownership, and that he turned down an opportunity to manage the New York Mets in 1975. "As soon as the club was purchased, (manag ing general partner) Peter Magowan told me he wanted me to be a Giant for life," said Mays, who plans to be in camp most of March. "He wanted me to really get involved with community work, getting kids and families interested in coming to the ballpark. I will be more involved. I have a lifetime contract." Mays, whose 660 home runs place him third on the all-time list, said he will offer rookie manager Dusty Baker assistance in any capacity, but that he doesn't envy the job. f - Willie Mays "I don't think I could manage," Mays said. "I could have managed the Mets in 1975, but I said no. You have to be here daily, and I like to move around. It can be a thankless job." Mays addressed the sometimes-strained relations his godson, Barry Bonds, has with the media, saying the job demands that players try to get along with the media. "The kid is getting $43.75 million," Mays said of Bonds' six-year contract, the fattest in baseball. "Give me $43.75 million and I don't care what happens. He's still young and he's got a lot to learn."

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